It's one of those things that you either love or hate about digital TV: you've either got a signal or you don't - unlike analogue, which would give you a snowy half picture if you weren't exactly in the right position. Of course, with the switchover to digital TV due to be completed by 2013, that might have meant a good deal of rural Australians going without their daily dose of television. That's why today the government announced a satellite service that would provide digital TV to rural Australians.
The satellite service, which will cost somewhere in the order of $40 million dollars per year over the next four years to build and operate, will mean that regional Australians will get access to all the FTA channels (like 7Two, Go! and One HD) for the first time. They'll also receive local news services as well.
There's no word in the announcement about whether or not those requiring the satellite service will have to pony up the cash to pay for the installation of a satellite dish, but there will be a "satellite conversion subsidy" from the government.
Personally, I think it's great that we're not leaving the bush behind with the switch to digital TV. Although how well the plan is actually implemented is another matter altogether...